senjiza 宣字座
KEY WORD :  art history / sculptures
Lit. ideogram of the character sen 宣. A dais *daiza 台座 for a Buddhist image that has two rectangular platforms called *kamachiza 框座 above and below a box-like column and resembles the shape of that character. This base was used for Chinese Northern Wei figures. It was commonly used from the 7-9c in Japan, but after that time the lotus pedestal base *rengeza 蓮華座 became more prevalent. One of the most well-known images with a senjiza is the Shaka sanzonzou 釈迦三尊像 (7c) at Houryuuji *Kondou 法隆寺金堂. The Yakushi sanzonzou 薬師三尊像 at Yakushiji 薬師寺 in Nara is another well-known example. Senjiza are most often used for images of *nyorai 如来 and the robes mo 裳 of both these images cover the top section of the dais. Thus it is also called *mokakeza 裳懸座. Senjiza can also be referred to as shumiza 須弥座 as its form is meant to represent the sacred Mt. Sumeru *Shumisen 須弥山, the highest mountain located at the center of the world in the Buddhist cosmology. The mountain is said to have four sides and is narrowest in the middle, like the dais. An altar inside a Buddhist hall with this configuration is called *shumidan 須弥壇. Shumiza can also be made of several smaller layered rectangular blocks, narrowing in the middle, to create a form more closely related to the sacred mountain .


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